By Hollister Dixon
Guided By Voices are an amazing band, but their catalogue is an extremely dense collection to get into. Where do you start? Is it Bee Thousand? Is it Alien Lanes? How do the post-breakup albums stack up next to the rest? And what of Robert Pollard’s other projects, like Boston Spaceships (featuring Eyelids members/Faces on the Radio veterans Chris Slusarenko and John Moen) or Circus Devils (who released their final album, Laughs Last, on February 24th)? What about all of Pollard’s solo material, or the three (!) Ricked Wicky albums that came out in 2015? And what about the Suitcases?
One of the best ways to take in everything, though, is to just see Guided By Voices play live. I went into my first GBV show as a mild fan, and walked away a rabid obsessive, and part of this is Pollard’s willingness to play as many songs as can be fit into their time onstage. You want to watch a band play 40 songs with the gusto of a band a third their age? You got it.
On April 7th, Guided By Voices will release the double (!!) album August By Cake, the band’s 23rd album to date. That seems like a lot, sure! But it’s even more notable that this is the one hundredth (!!!) album with Uncle Bob’s name on it. That’s a hell of a lot to process! The band’s last, Please Be Honest, was mostly recorded by Pollard on his own, but this album finds him reunited with former member Doug Gillard, and backed by new members Bobby Bare Jr. and Mark Shue. This spring, the band will support the album with a lovely tour which includes a few nice and small rooms, including the ridiculously small Doug Fir Lounge here in Portland and Seattle’s Neumos – with a neat little stopover in Indio, CA for Coachella.. They’ll have a hell of a lot of great support on the tour, everyone from Rogue Wave to DTCV (fronted by James Greer, former GBV member and the man who literally wrote the book on the band).
After the jump, check out the band’s dates and support, as well as new tracks “Dr. Feelgood Falls Off the Ocean” and “Hiking Skin”.